position:head


  • Migrants from west Africa being ‘sold in Libyan slave markets’ | World news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/10/libya-public-slave-auctions-un-migration

    Des marchés aux esclaves en Libye après « notre » intervention. Et certains en réclament d’autres, en Syrie par exemple !...

    West African migrants are being bought and sold openly in modern-day slave markets in Libya, survivors have told a UN agency helping them return home.

    Trafficked people passing through Libya have previously reported violence, extortion and slave labour. But the new testimony from the International Organization for Migration suggests that the trade in human beings has become so normalised that people are being traded in public.

    “The latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies. “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”

    #esclavage #libye


  • Tomahawk Launches Practiced by U.S. Before Trump Gave Go-Ahead - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-04-07/tomahawk-launches-practiced-by-u-s-before-trump-gave-go-ahead

    The U.S. used the latest-model Tactical Tomahawks, which can be redirected in mid-flight, transmit images to commanders and loiter over a potential target area, according to accounts by U.S. military officials who briefed reporters or spoke in interviews. They asked not to be identified discussing operational details.
    […]
    The fusillade of Tomahawks aimed at the Shayrat airfield was one of the options prepared by U.S. Central Command in about a day after Trump condemned the April 4 gas attack, on the assumption the White House might want to act fast to back up the president’s implied threat, one of the officials said. That proved correct when the administration formally requested that the Pentagon ready alternatives.

    Once Trump gave the go-ahead order for the Tomahawk strike, the operation moved at a rapid pace. Shortly after 4:35 p.m. New York time on Thursday, Army General Joseph Votel, the head of Central Command, received a call from Marine Corps General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, telling him to execute the attack. Votel, who was at an event on the U.S. East Coast, passed the order on via a secure video link even before the White House’s written authorization, according to one of the officials.

    The 59 missiles launched — a 60th malfunctioned — hit an equal number of targets at the Shayrat air field, which one of the military officials said had been associated with Syrian government chemical attacks since 2013.
    […]
    The Navy says it’s buying the last 100 Tomahawks this year before ending production in favor of upgrades to the inventory and starting development on a successor “Next Generation Land Attack Weapon.”

    Bon, c’est le tout dernier modèle (avec les options…) mais c’est quand même du déstockage avant remplacement.


  • The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب : A shift in Saudi policy toward Syrian regime
    http://angryarab.blogspot.fr/2017/04/a-shift-in-saudi-policy-toward-syrian.html

    A shift in Saudi policy toward Syrian regime
    There are signs of a significant shift in Saudi policies toward Syria: the shift was evident in the statement by the Arab League last week. And Ali Shihabi (childhood friend and head of a new pro-Prince Muhammad bin Salman think tank in DC), said to CNN that Syria is “a lost cause” (he later denied or corrected the statement). And now this: `Abdul-Rahman Al-Rashid (the influential propagandist of King Salman and his sons) says that Gulf regimes are likely to “adjust” (the words he used were “to deal favorably with the new political reality”—in reference to US policy of leaving Asad in power). He also looks back favorably at Hafidh Al-Asad and praised him. It seems that the new policy of Saudi regime toward Syria is reduced to calling on an end to Iranian presence there. I feel sorry for all the Syrians and the supporters of the Syrian “revolution” who—BIZARRELY—counted on the House of Saud to save their “revolution”. I also feel sorry for the leftists around the world who treated Gulf regimes as the true sponsors of “revolution”.

    (Ce qui à mes yeux explique le soudain battage autour des attaques chimiques, mais je dois être cynique.)

    #syrie



  • Survival of the Friendliest - Issue 46: Balance
    http://54.197.248.184/issue/46/balance/survival-of-the-friendliest

    http://static.nautil.us/11949_3463ba87bdc01378649630ed94f57eef.png

    Violence has been the sire of all the world’s values,” wrote poet Robinson Jeffers in 1940. “What but the wolf’s tooth whittled so fine the fleet limbs of the antelope? What but fear winged the birds, and hunger jeweled with such eyes the great goshawk’s head?” We’ve taken these metaphors for evolution to heart, reading them to mean that life is a race to kill or be killed. “Darwinian” stands in for “cutthroat,” “survival of the fittest” signifies survival of the ruthless. We see selective pressures that hone each organism for success and drive genetic innovation as the natural order of things.Two models of evolution: The early interpretation of Darwinian evolution as life-or-death contest is being complemented by an understanding of the importance of cooperation.Martin Harvey / Auscape / Getty (...)



  • Israel assassinates Shalit-deal prisoner in Gaza, Hamas says
    March 25, 2017 10:33 A.M.
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=776104
    http://www.maannews.com/Photos/423265C.jpg

    GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Hamas movement announced Friday night that former prisoner 35-year-old Mazen Fuqahaa was assassinated by unidentified assailants in southern Gaza City, accusing Israel of carrying out the targeted killing.

    Unknown assailants opened fire at Fuqahaa at the entrance to a residence in the Tal al-Hawa neighborhood in southwestern Gaza City, shooting four bullets into the man’s head before they fled the area, witnesses said.

    The assassination was carried out with a gun equipped with a silencer, according to member of Hamas’s politburo Izzat al-Rishq.

    Fuqahaa, from the northern occupied West Bank district of Tubas, was released from serving a life sentence in Israeli custody in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoners exchange deal, and then exiled to the besieged Gaza Strip.

    According to Israeli media, Fuqahaa was a senior member of the al-Qassam Brigades, and had been sentenced to life in prison for planning a suicide bombing in northern Israel in 2002 that left nine people dead and tens of others wounded.

    In a statement, the brigades said that it was “clear and obvious that this crime was arranged by the Zionist enemy,” referring to the state of Israel.

    They went on to warn that “this enemy will be the ones who suffer the consequences and take responsibility for this crime,” and that Israel would “regret the day” they began carrying out stealth assassinations against “resistance fighters in Gaza.”

    The Hamas movement called the assassination “a cowardly attack by the occupation,” promising that Israel would “pay for its crimes.”

    The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the military wing of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine also denounced the assassination, saying the killing “must be met with a harsh response by all resistance factions.”

    The Islamic Jihad movement said Fuqahaa’s assassination marked the start of “a new offensive” by Israel against Palestinian resistance, and that the resistance had the right to respond and defend themselves.

    Spokesperson for Gaza’s Ministry of Interior Iyad al-Buzm said security services had opened an investigation into the details of the incident.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Le Hamas ferme le point de passage entre Gaza et Israël
      AFP | 26/03/2017
      https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1043011/le-hamas-ferme-le-point-de-passage-entre-gaza-et-israel.html

      Le Hamas a fermé dimanche le point de passage entre la bande de Gaza qu’il dirige et Israël après l’assassinat d’un de ses responsables, que le mouvement islamiste palestinien a imputé aux services israéliens de renseignement.

      Dans un communiqué, le ministère de l’Intérieur à Gaza précise avoir fermé le point de passage d’Erez pour une durée indéterminée le temps que se déroule l’enquête sur le meurtre de Mazen Faqha, 38 ans, tué par balles vendredi par des inconnus dans l’enclave palestinienne.
      Israël n’a fait aucun commentaire sur la fermeture du point de passage côté gazaoui ni sur le meurtre de ce responsable palestinien.

      Selon des médias israéliens, Mazen Faqha dirigeait des cellules de la branche armée du Hamas en Cisjordanie, territoire palestinien occupé depuis 50 ans par Israël et séparé géographiquement de la bande de Gaza par l’Etat hébreu.
      Faqha avait été arrêté et condamné à de la prison pour des attaques suicide qui avait tué des Israéliens durant la deuxième intifada entre 2000 et 2005.
      Il faisait partie du millier de prisonniers palestiniens libérés en 2011 en échange du soldat israélien Gilad Shalit, que le Hamas détenait depuis cinq ans. M. Faqha avait été transféré vers Gaza.

      Erez, dans le nord de la bande de Gaza, est la seule porte d’entrée et de sortie pour les personnes entre l’enclave palestinienne et Israël. Un autre point de passage, Kerem Shalom, est réservé au passage des marchandises.

      La bande de Gaza est soumise depuis dix ans à un blocus de la part d’Israël et les deux parties se sont livré trois guerres depuis 2008.



  • Survival of the Friendliest - Issue 46: Balance
    http://nautil.us/issue/46/balance/survival-of-the-friendliest

    http://static.nautil.us/11949_3463ba87bdc01378649630ed94f57eef.png

    Violence has been the sire of all the world’s values,” wrote poet Robinson Jeffers in 1940. “What but the wolf’s tooth whittled so fine the fleet limbs of the antelope? What but fear winged the birds, and hunger jeweled with such eyes the great goshawk’s head?” We’ve taken these metaphors for evolution to heart, reading them to mean that life is a race to kill or be killed. “Darwinian” stands in for “cutthroat,” “survival of the fittest” signifies survival of the ruthless. We see selective pressures that hone each organism for success and drive genetic innovation as the natural order of things.Two models of evolution: The early interpretation of Darwinian evolution as life-or-death contest is being complemented by an understanding of the importance of cooperation.Martin Harvey / Auscape / Getty (...)



  • Hamas looks to rebrand internationally with new policy document
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/03/hamas-to-release-soon-new-policy-document-expressing-stances.html

    Raed Enairat, a professor of political science at An-Najah National University in Nablus and head of the Contemporary Center for Studies and Policy Analysis, told Al-Monitor that based on what he had gather from leaks, “The Hamas document is not a ticket for Hamas to join the international community, but it is perhaps a step on the path toward breaking out of its isolation. Before allowing Hamas access to its ranks, the international community will have basic demands, such as Hamas recognizing Israel. This would mean that it is still too early for Hamas to replace the Palestine Liberation Organization as the representative of the Palestinian people in regional and international forums and that the document will not speed up this process.”

    Also based on leaks about the document, Haaretz correspondent Jack Khoury wrote March 8 that it will stress that peaceful popular struggle against Israel is a legitimate approach, along with armed struggle, a move that could facilitate the movement’s contacts with the international community.

    In a March 15 article for the Arabi 21 website, Jordanian political writer Majed Abu Dyak wrote that he had obtained a copy of the document that includes Hamas agreeing to the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders as an interim solution to the conflict with Israel, but without acknowledging the legitimacy of Israeli sovereignty over the land of historic Palestine (that is, recognizing Israel) or waiving refugees’ right to return. If accurate, it would appear that Hamas’ end goal remains Palestinian rule over all of pre-1948 Palestine.

    A senior Hamas leader who requested anonymity revealed some procedural details to Al-Monitor, stating, “Hamas began work on the document two years ago. The document has been submitted to the movement’s governing bodies, the political bureau and Shura Council. Legal and political parties inside Hamas are currently editing the document and translating it from Arabic into French and English. Hamas’ current head, Khaled Meshaal, will be presenting the document in late March or early April.”

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/03/hamas-to-release-soon-new-policy-document-expressing-stances.html#ixzz4b


  • UN official resigns after pressure to withdraw Israel apartheid report | The Electronic Intifada
    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/un-official-resigns-after-pressure-withdraw-israel-apartheid-rep

    https://electronicintifada.net/sites/default/files/styles/original_800w/public/2017-03/rima-khalaf-portrait.jpg?itok=n0RpOvhi×tamp=1489770502.jpg

    A senior United Nations official has resigned, following pressure from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to withdraw the landmark report published earlier this week finding Israel guilty of apartheid.

    Rima Khalaf, the head of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) which published the report, announced her resignation at a press conference in Beirut on Friday.


  • UN official resigns after pressure to withdraw Israel apartheid report | The Electronic Intifada

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/un-official-resigns-after-pressure-withdraw-israel-apartheid-rep

    Sous ce lien, on trouve le rapport complet. Lecture intéressante.

    https://electronicintifada.net/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/pictures/picture-24-1320694946.jpg?itok=_G986tvp

    A senior United Nations official has resigned, following pressure from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to withdraw the landmark report published earlier this week finding Israel guilty of apartheid.

    Rima Khalaf, the head of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) which published the report, announced her resignation at a press conference in Beirut on Friday.


  • Israeli army denies soldiers intended to plant knife on Palestinian boy in Hebron
    March 14, 2017 8:07 P.M. (Updated: March 14, 2017 10:05 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=775947
    http://www.maannews.com/Photos/421360C.jpg

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — After footage emerged of a 15-year-old Palestinian being detained at gunpoint in Hebron in the occupied West Bank — which local activists said depicted an attempt by Israeli forces to plant a knife on the teen before killing him — the Israeli army denied the activists’ claim, calling the reports “false manipulations and an attempt to distort the truth.”

    The footage showed an Israeli soldiers approaching the checkpoint with a knife in his hand, before another soldier leads 15-year-old Muhammad Qazzaz away.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVvFd6VSQ6s

    In response to a request for comment, an Israeli army spokesperson wrote to Ma’an on Tuesday saying that the knife was found in the “terrorist’s” possession after he arrived at the checkpoint.

    According to the spokesperson, who asked Ma’an to change the headline in the initial report of the incident, Qazzaz later admitted during interrogation that “he planned to carry out a terror attack in the Jewish Quarter in Hebron.”

    The spokesperson confirmed that Qazzaz had not yet been charged and investigations were still underway.

    However, local activists with the group Human Rights Defenders — Zeidan al-Sharabati, who filmed the incident, and eyewitness Badi al-Dweik — claimed that the detention could have taken a deadly turn if the encounter had not been filmed, and alleged soldiers were planning on planting the knife on the scene.

    When al-Sharabati arrived near the checkpoint, he said he saw Qazzaz flat on the ground with a soldier, pointing a machine gun the boy’s head, placing his boot on Qazzaz’s neck.

    A second soldier was seen carrying a knife and then throwing it near the checkpoint. Sometime later, another soldier was seen picking up the same knife and then moving with the young Palestinian towards the Israeli police station, when the footage was taken.

    According to al-Sharabati and al-Dweik, many local Palestinians had gathered around the checkpoint to witnesses the violent detention, one of which, who understood Hebrew, heard a soldier telling another soldier to shoot and kill Qazzaz.

    The Palestinian bystander repeatedly shouted out to the soldiers “I understand Hebrew! Don’t kill him!”

    Later, Israeli soldiers tried to force those who were filming to go away, the activists said, who insisted if that if witnesses hadn’t been there to document the event, Qazzaz would have been killed and the knife would have been planted beside his body.

    Israeli forces have detained scores of Palestinians for allegedly being in possession of knives in recent months following a spate of alleged and actual small-scale knife attacks by Palestinians that surged in the fall of 2015.

    Rights groups have disputed Israel’s version of events in a number of cases, denouncing what they have termed as a “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death, or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner — amid a backdrop of impunity for Israeli forces who have committed the killings.

    Eyewitnesses have also said in a number of cases that Israeli security forces planted knives on slain Palestinians to claim that they were acting in self-defense during a stabbing attack.

    Meanwhile, rights groups have widely documented the abuse and mistreatment of Palestinian children by Israeli forces and the harsh interrogation practices used to force their confessions.

    Hebron in particular grew as the epicenter of upheaval, with a number of Palestinians having been shot while being detained at military checkpoints in the area.

    Al-Dweik said that after the killing of Palestinian Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif was caught on camera by Human Rights Defenders member Imad Abu Shamsiya in March 2016, the group had increased its efforts to capture Israeli violations of human rights on camera.


  • Egypt-Fatah tensions come to a head at Cairo airport
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/03/egypt-deny-entry-palestinian-fatah-official-abbas-dahlan.html

    A Palestinian politician in Gaza and a close associate of Dahlan told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “Egypt was very offended by Rajoub’s recent meetings with Fatah leaders in the West Bank. He even attacked Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. This angered many Egyptian officials who were offended. The deportation was a prelude to completely eliminate his chances of becoming head of the PA, as Egyptians can now veto Rajoub’s plan to become Abbas’ successor.”

    Egypt does not hide its desire to play a key role in choosing Abbas’ successor. This was made clear in August 2016, when Egypt made the first move toward achieving reconciliation between Dahlan and Abbas, but the latter continues to reject and exclude Dahlan from any opportunity to succeed him, thus angering Egypt.

    Rajoub’s deportation from Egypt reverberated in Israel. Writing in Haaretz on March 6, author Jack Khoury said Rajoub’s deportation was due to Sisi’s anger toward Abbas for rejecting Sisi’s initiative, announced in May 2016, to hold a regional conference in Cairo with the participation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alongside Arab leaders.

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/03/egypt-deny-entry-palestinian-fatah-official-abbas-dahlan.html#ixzz4bI7gu


  • Palestinian forces use live fire against protesters opposing the PA in Duheisha
    March 12, 2017 9:44 P.M. (Updated: March 12, 2017 10:34 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=775918
    http://www.maannews.com/Photos/421362C.jpg

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Clashes erupted between Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces and demonstrators at Duheisha refugee camp in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Sunday evening, as locals reported that police were shooting live fire towards Palestinian youths.

    Scores of Palestinians marched from Duheisha on Sunday afternoon to protest a legal case against slain activist Basel al-Araj and five other Palestinians who were imprisoned alongside him last year by the PA, as well as to denounce police repression against a similar protest in Ramallah earlier in the day.

    The march headed to a Palestinian police station in the nearby village of Artas, where clashes then erupted.

    Local news sources and Duheisha residents reported that Palestinian police officers forces were using live bullets, tear gas, and sound bombs against the demonstrators, as youths threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police forces.

    Local news page al-Duheisha al-Hadath said that Palestinian forces had raided at least one home in Duheisha in the clashes.

    Al-Duheisha al-Hadath also reported that ambulances treated protesters for excessive tear gas inhalation. A spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent could not be reached for comment.

    #AP_Israël #Basel_al-Araj

    • Protesters attacked in Ramallah by PA forces as Arab and international cities demonstrate for Basil al-Araj
      March 12, 2017
      http://samidoun.net/2017/03/protesters-attacked-in-ramallah-by-pa-forces-as-arab-and-international-cit
      https://i0.wp.com/samidoun.net/site/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ramallahquds.jpg?w=960

      Protesting Palestinians in Ramallah came under attack by Palestinian Authority security forces this morning, including the father of slain Palestinian youth activist Basil al-Araj, journalists and former prisoners, such as Khader Adnan. Later in the evening, PA police also attacked a march in Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem demanding an end to security coordination and honoring al-Araj.

      The demonstration was called in protest of PA security coordination with the Israeli occupation, under which al-Araj and his comrades were initially imprisoned by the PA after a court hearing was maintained for charges against al-Araj and his comrades for Sunday, 12 March. Their arrest was touted as a significant achievement for PA-Israeli security coordination in April 2016.(...)

    • Hundreds attend funeral in al-Walaja for slain Palestinian activist Basel al-Araj
      March 17, 2017 1:52 P.M. (Updated: March 17, 2017 9:33 P.M.)
      https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=775983

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Some 2,000 mourners took part in a funeral procession for Basel al-Araj on Friday evening, after the 31-year-old Palestinian activist was killed by Israeli forces nearly two weeks ago.

      Israel has held al-Araj’s body since March 6 — when Israeli forces ambushed him in a home near Ramallah, in what was branded as an “execution” and an “assassination” of the man, who was beloved in Palestinian activist circles as a freedom fighter, an intellectual, and a theorist.

      Israeli authorities handed over his remains Friday afternoon at Israel’s 300 Checkpoint at the entrance to the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, after which the Palestinian Red Crescent transferred the body to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital.

      An autopsy conducted at the hospital determined the main cause of death to be a bullet to the heart, though at least nine other bullet wounds were identified, according to a statement from the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

      In addition to the bullet that pierced his heart, several bullets hit al-Araj’s head, two bullets hit the upper part of his back, one bullet hit the right side of his chest, one bullet hit his stomach, while bullets and shrapnel also pierced his pelvis.

      The funeral for al-Araj began later Friday evening after his body arrived to his hometown of al-Walaja, a small village northeast of Bethlehem.


  • Enregistrement de la soirée:
    Turkey: Erdogan’s worrisome transformation | Forum #fifdh17

    Who will put a stop to Recep Tayyip #Erdogan increasingly authoritarian rule? No one and nothing it seems, as the clampdown on freedom, dissent and opposition continue unabated in Turkey.

    Over the last eight months, under an extended state of emergency, more than a 130,000 public servants, intellectuals, lawyers, judges, teachers, and journalists have lost their job or have been sacked. It is estimated that more than 40,000 people have been jailed, some without any formal charges and often barred from receiving legal counsel.

    The President and his supporters justify their actions as a necessary response to the failed coup of Summer 2016. But a close look at what is happening in Turkey also shows how fast, once elected, a strong man can undermine the rule of law from within and put democracy at risk.

    In Erdogan, L’ivresse du pouvoir by Gilles Perrier and Gilles Cayatte, Erdogan’s political journey from Mayor of Istanbul to the Presidency is recounted by friends and foes alike.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yqM9x7V2E8&feature=youtu.be


    #Turquie #FIFDH

    Etaient présents au débat:
    Panelists
    #Kerem_Altiparkmak | Head of Human Rights Department, University of Ankara (via Skype)
    #Yavuz_Baydar | Turkish journalist, Süddeutsche Zeitung, in exile in France
    #Nils_Melzer | United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
    #Pinar_Selek | Sociologist and Turkish political opponent in exile in France

    #journalisme #médias


  • With Lebanon no longer hiding Hezbollah’s role, next war must hit civilians where it hurts, Israeli minister says
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.776419

    présenté comme d’habitude, et pour la énième fois, par le propagandiste Amos Harel,

    Lebanese President Michel Aoun paid an official visit to Cairo a month ago, ahead of which he gave a number of interviews to the Egyptian media. Aoun was only elected president after a long power struggle in which Iran and Hezbollah finally held sway, and he spoke about the fact that the Shi’ite organization continues to be the only Lebanese militia that refuses outright to disarm.

    Hezbollah is a significant part of the Lebanese people, Aoun explained. “As long as Israel occupies land and covets the natural resources of Lebanon, and as long as the Lebanese military lacks the power to stand up to Israel, [Hezbollah’s] arms are essential, in that they complement the actions of the army and do not contradict them,” he said, adding, “They are a major part of Lebanon’s defense.”

    Brig. Gen. Assaf Orion from the Institute for National Security Studies wrote recently that Aoun’s comments were a “lifting of the official veil and tearing off of the mask of the well-known Lebanese reality – which widely accepted Western diplomacy tends to blur. The Lebanese president abolishes the forced distinction between the ostensibly sovereign state and Hezbollah. Thus, the Lebanese president takes official responsibility for any actions by Hezbollah, including against Israel.”

    Aoun’s declaration also tallies with the facts on the ground. At a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee this past week, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the Lebanese army is now “a subsidiary unit of Hezbollah.”

    What does that mean with regard to an Israeli response against Hezbollah in case another war breaks out on the northern front? This column recently discussed the basic difficulty that faces the Israel Defense Forces in Lebanon: limited ability to deal with the threat of high-trajectory rockets directed against both the Israeli civilian population and the strategic infrastructure on the rear front. On the southern front, even though the air force lacks a proper offensive response to rockets, the missile intercept systems – chiefly the Iron Dome batteries – are enough to thwart most of the launches.

    In the north, with Hezbollah able to launch more than 1,000 rockets into Israel on a single day of fighting, the offensive solution seems partial and the defensive solution limited.

    The state comptroller’s report on the 2014 war in Gaza disappeared from the headlines within a few days, but the difficulties facing Israel in future conflicts in Gaza – and even more so in Lebanon – remain.

    At this point, it’s interesting to listen to security cabinet member Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi), whose opinions the state comptroller accepted with regard to disagreements with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Hamas attack tunnels in the Gaza Strip.

    While in the political realm Bennett seems determined to create unilateral facts on the ground (i.e., settlements in the territories) even at the risk of a potential face-off with the Europeans and embarrassing the Trump administration, it seems his positions on military issues are more complex. More than once he has shown healthy skepticism over positions taken by top defense officials, and he refuses to accept their insights as indisputable conclusions.

    Hunting rocket launchers during a war is almost impossible, Bennett told Haaretz this week, adding that he says this “as someone who specialized in hunting rocket launchers.”

    During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, when he served as a reserve officer, Bennett commanded an elite unit sent deep into southern Lebanon to find Hezbollah’s rocket-launching squads.

    “When we worked in a particular area, we did reduce the teams of rocket launchers there – but they simply moved a little farther north,” Bennett related. Since then, he said, 11 years have passed and Hezbollah has learned to deploy in a more sophisticated manner. “They moved their launchers from the nature reserves, outposts in open areas, to dense urban areas [ reconnaissance éhontée d’un mensonge passé et nouveau mensonge tout aussi éhonté ]. You can’t fight rockets with tweezers. If you can’t reach the house where the launcher is, you’re not effective, and the number of houses you have to get through is enormous,” he explained.

    “After I was released from reserve duty, I read all of the books you wrote about the war,” Bennett told me. “I understood in retrospect that the fundamental event of the war took place on its first day, in a phone call between [former Prime Minister] Ehud Olmert and Condoleezza Rice.” President George W. Bush’s secretary of state had asked the prime minister not to hit Lebanon’s infrastructure, and was given a positive response. As a result, “there was no way that Israel could win the war,” Bennett said.

    “Lebanon presented itself as a country that wants quiet, that has no influence over Hezbollah,” he continued. “Today, Hezbollah is embedded in sovereign Lebanon. It is part of the government and, according to the president, also part of its security forces. The organization has lost its ability to disguise itself as a rogue group.”

    Bennett believes this should be Israel’s official stance. “The Lebanese institutions, its infrastructure, airport, power stations, traffic junctions, Lebanese Army bases – they should all be legitimate targets if a war breaks out. That’s what we should already be saying to them and the world now. If Hezbollah fires missiles at the Israeli home front, this will mean sending Lebanon back to the Middle Ages,” he said. “Life in Lebanon today is not bad – certainly compared to what’s going on in Syria. Lebanon’s civilians, including the Shi’ite population, will understand that this is what lies in store for them if Hezbollah is entangling them for its own reasons, or even at the behest of Iran.”

    At the same time, he notes that this is not necessarily the plan for a future war, but instead an attempt to avoid one: “If we declare and market this message aggressively enough now, we might be able to prevent the next war. After all, we have no intention of attacking Lebanon.”

    According to Bennett, if war breaks out anyway, a massive attack on the civilian infrastructure – along with additional air and ground action by the IDF – will speed up international intervention and shorten the campaign. “That will lead them to stop it quickly – and we have an interest in the war being as short as possible,” he said. “I haven’t said these things publicly up until now. But it’s important that we convey the message and prepare to deal with the legal and diplomatic aspects. That is the best way to avoid a war.”

    Bennett’s approach is not entirely new. In 2008, the head of the IDF Northern Command (and today IDF chief of staff), Gadi Eisenkot, presented the “Dahiya doctrine.” He spoke of massive damage to buildings in areas identified with Hezbollah – as was done on a smaller scale in Beirut’s Shi’ite Dahiya quarter during the 2006 war – as a means of deterring the organization and shortening the war.

    That same year, Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland proposed striking at Lebanon’s state infrastructure. To this day, though, the approach has not been adopted as Israeli policy, open or covert. Bennett’s declaration reflects an attempt by a key member of the security cabinet (albeit Netanyahu’s declared political rival) to turn it into such policy.

    The fact that Israel only tied with Hamas in Gaza in 2014 only convinced Bennett that he is right. There, too, Hamas finally agreed to a cease-fire after 50 days of fighting only after the Israel Air Force systematically destroyed the high-rise apartment buildings where senior Hamas officials lived.

    #Liban #Israel #Israel #crimes #criminels #victimes_civiles #impunité


  • South Korean court throws president out of office, 2 dead in protest | Reuters
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-politics-idUSKBN16H066

    South Korea’s Constitutional Court removed President Park Geun-hye from office on Friday over a graft scandal involving the country’s conglomerates at a time of rising tensions with North Korea and China.

    The ruling sparked protests from hundreds of her supporters, two of whom were killed in clashes with police outside the court.

    Park becomes South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be forced from office, capping months of paralysis and turmoil over a corruption scandal that also landed the head of the Samsung conglomerate in jail.

    A snap presidential election will be held within 60 days.


  • EPA chief unconvinced on CO2 link to global warming | Reuters
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-epa-pruitt-idUSKBN16G1XX

    The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday he is not convinced that carbon dioxide from human activity is the main driver of climate change and said he wants Congress to weigh in on whether CO2 is a harmful pollutant that should be regulated.

    In an interview with CNBC, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the Trump administration will make an announcement on fuel efficiency standards for cars “very soon,” stressing that he and President Donald Trump believe current standards were rushed through.

    Pruitt, 48, is a climate change denier who sued the agency he now leads more than a dozen times as Oklahoma’s attorney general. He said he was not convinced that carbon dioxide pollution from burning fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal is the main cause of climate change, a conclusion widely embraced by scientists.

    I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact,” he told CNBC.


  • For first time, Hamas prepared to accept pre-1967 borders for Palestinian state -
    Hamas soon expected to approve document summarizing the organization’s political and strategic positions, including declaring its independence from any outside party such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Jack Khoury Mar 09, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/1.775939

    Hamas is formulating a new outline of its policies, which will reportedly include an acceptance in principle of Palestine within the 1967 borders but not a recognition of Israel. According to reports, the document will also state that the organization was not a part of the Muslim Brotherhood.
    According to the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, sources in Hamas say that officials from the organization’s political bureau, Chairman Khaled Meshal and his deputy Ismail Haniyeh, as well as other officials from the military and political leadership, were involved in formulating and amending the document, which is still being worked on. Final approval is expected at the end of this month or early next month, when the Hamas internal elections for the political bureau and Shura Council conclude.
    >> Get all updates on Israel and the Palestinians: Download our free App, and Subscribe >>
    The report says the document will make clear that Hamas is an independent organization not tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, and this will help it in its contacts with the Egyptian authorities who are demanding that Hamas be fully disconnected from the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in Egypt.
    Hamas officials believe acceptance of the principle of a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders will help it break the boycott from foreign countries and international organizations.

    Sources in Hamas say that the document will define the fight against Israel as a fight against the occupation and not against Jews, whereas the organization’s platform that was passed 29 years ago defined Hamas as an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, defined the Palestinian issue as a religious issue and said that the struggle was against the Jews.

    An official with the political wing of Hamas in Gaza told Haaretz that the document that will be approved in the coming weeks will not present new positions, but will summarize positions and principles that came up over the last few years, in the talks for reconciliation and understandings with the other various Palestinian factions, and in the talks with Egypt and other Arab countries.
    “Anyone who has followed the statements of Khaled Meshal and the Hamas leaders will not find anything different, but in light of the major changes that have occurred in the region and within the Palestinian arena, Hamas has formulated this document to stand as an ID card for the movement and its principles,” the official said.
    Last month, Hamas completed its internal elections in Gaza, including the election of Yahya Sinwar as Hamas head in Gaza, and by early next month should complete its election process abroad. In the West Bank, it is not certain there will be such an election, due to organizational difficulties presented by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
    Haniyeh is widely expected to be elected head of the political bureau in place of Meshal who is stepping down, and Hamas will try to present an agenda that will help its standing in relation to the international community and Arab countries, chiefly Egypt.
    At this stage it is not clear how much Hamas wants to end its rift with Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, but it is possible that its agreement to a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders and defining the fight against the occupation in terms of a popular resistance alongside the military struggle, could serve as a basis for national agreement with the other factions, especially Fatah.



  • Palestinian activist ’executed’ by Israeli forces after 2-hour shoot-out
    March 6, 2017 10:51 A.M. (Updated: March 6, 2017 5:20 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=775810
    http://www.maannews.com/Photos/420237C.jpg

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian activist early Monday morning, culminating a two-hour-long gun battle in the Ramallah area of the central occupied West Bank, after Israeli forces had been pursuing the man since he was released from Palestinian prison last September.

    The raid sparked clashes, which left two Palestinians shot and injured by Israeli forces. No Israelis were injured in the incident.

    Israeli police identified the slain man as Basel al-Araj , who was wanted for “planning terror attacks against Israelis.”

    Al-Araj was detained without charges or explanation by Palestinian security forces in April last year along with Haitham Siyaj and Muhammad Harb. The controversial case made headlines when the three men joined three other detainees in a hunger strike in Palestinian prison, amid reports of torture and mistreatment.

    After being released in September, Palestinian activists had feared that Israeli forces would immediately detain the six men, as the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been widely criticized for its security coordination with Israel through what critics have called a “revolving door policy" of funneling Palestinians from PA jails into Israeli prisons.

    Muhammad Harb and Haitham Siyaj, along with two of the other hunger striking detainees Muhammad al-Salamin and Seif al-Idrissi, were eventually detained by Israeli forces and ordered to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, while a video was released by Israeli media showing Israeli forces beating Siyaj in custody.

    However, Israeli forces were unable to immediately apprehend al-Araj, and the months-long manhunt continued until the Monday morning raid, when forces from the Israeli army, Israeli border police, Israeli intelligence, and Israel’s counter-terrorism unit surrounded a house in the outskirts of the refugee camp of Qaddura, where al-Araj was allegedly staying.

    Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said that “once Israeli forces arrived at the place, the Palestinian terrorist opened fire at Israeli forces, causing an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinian terrorist, leading to his death.”

    Al-Samri noted that no Israeli soldiers were injured in the shootout.

    Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that gunfire was exchanged between Israeli forces and a Palestinian man for around two hours until he ran out of ammunition, after which Israeli forces raided the house and “executed” him by shooting him at close range with several bullets.

    Israeli forces also fired an Energa anti-tank rifle grenade into the building, causing the destruction of parts of the house, witnesses said.

    Witnesses said they saw Israeli forces dragging a man’s body by his feet outside of the house.

    Meanwhile the Palestinian Ministry of Health has reportedly confirmed al-Araj’s death, according to online media reports, while his body was taken by Israeli forces to an unknown destination.(...)

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Basil al-Araj assassinated by Israeli occupation forces after PA imprisonment and months in hiding
      March 6, 2017
      http://samidoun.net/2017/03/basil-al-araj-executed-by-israeli-occupation-forces-after-pa-imprisonment-
      http://samidoun.net/site/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/basil-araj-685x1024.jpg

      In a pre-dawn raid attacking a home in el-Bireh, Basil al-Araj , 31, Palestinian youth activist and writer pursued by Israel for nearly a year, was assassinated by invading Israeli occupation forces this morning.

      Al-Araj, from the village of Walaja near Bethlehem, fought back and resisted the invading forces for two hours before the attacking occupation soldiers broke into the home where he was staying and executed him at close range. They then seized his body and took it to an unknown location.

      The attack on the home included rocket fire as well as al-Araj’s extrajudicial execution in a hail of bullets. Al-Araj’s family home in al-Walaja had been repeatedly raided by occupation forces for months.

      Al-Araj, a writer and activist involved in a wide array of Palestinian grassroots struggles for liberation, was among the Palestinian youth dedicated to reviving the Palestinian national liberation movement. One of six Palestinian youth released from Palestinian Authority prisons after nearly six months of detention when they launched a hunger strike, Al-Araj and other youth had been seized in April in what was touted as a victory for security coordination between the PA and Israel. While they were imprisoned by the PA, they were subject to torture and ill-treatment by PA security forces.

      After their hunger strike and widespread attention to their case, including protests after reports of their torture, secured their release, four of the youth – Mohammed al-Salameen, Seif al-Idrissi, Haitham Siyaj, and Mohammed Harb – have been seized by Israeli occupation forces. All four have been ordered to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.(...)

    • In final letter, slain Palestinian activist Basel al-Araj ponders looming death
      March 6, 2017 8:05 P.M. (Updated: March 6, 2017 8:08 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=775829
      http://www.maannews.com/Photos/420323C.jpg

      RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — In a final letter written before he was killed by Israeli forces in a two-hour shootout, Palestinian activist and writer Basel al-Araj revealed his thoughts over his seemingly ineluctable end.

      Al-Araj, a 31-year-old activist and resident of the village of al-Walaja in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, had been on the run from Israeli authorities since September, when he was released from Palestinian prison after being detained without charges or explanation for five months, during which he joined a hunger strike amid reports of torture and mistreatment.

      Israeli police had accused al-Araj of being the “head of a terrorist cell that planned attacks against Israelis and security forces.”

      After a months-long manhunt, Israeli forces surrounded a house in the outskirts of the Qaddura refugee camp, where al-Araj was staying, early on Monday, prompting an exchange of fire between al-Araj and the armed forces, in which the Palestinian was killed after running out of ammunition.

      “Greetings of Arab nationalism, homeland, and liberation,” the letter, shared on social media by al-Araj’s family, read. “If you are reading this, it means I have died and my soul has ascended to its creator. I pray to God that I will meet him with a guiltless heart, willingly, and never reluctantly, and free of any whit of hypocrisy.”

      Al-Araj went on to ponder the initial difficulty of writing a last testament, like many other Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces.

      “How hard it is to write your own will. For years I have been contemplating testaments written by martyrs, and those wills have always bewildered me. They were short, quick, without much eloquence. They did not quench our thirst to find answers about martyrdom,” he wrote.

      “Now I am walking to my fated death satisfied that I found my answers. How stupid I am! Is there anything which is more eloquent and clearer than a martyr’s deed? I should have written this several months ago, but what kept me was that this question is for you, living people, and why should I answer on your behalf? Look for the answers yourself, and for us the inhabitants of the graves, all we seek is God’s mercy.”

    • Palestine occupée : Le FPLP dénonce l’assassinat du jeune Palestinien combattant et dirigeant Basil al-Araj
      Par FPLP | 6 mars 2017 | Traduction : André Comte
      http://www.ism-france.org/communiques/Le-FPLP-denonce-l-assassinat-du-jeune-Palestinien-combattant-et-dirigean
      http://www.ism-france.org/photos/basil-al-araj.jpg

      Le Front Populaire pour la Libération de la Palestine se joint aux masses de notre peuple résistant qui pleurent l’un des plus éminents jeunes palestiniens en lutte, Basil al-Araj, qui a été assassiné aujourd’hui par le lâche occupant sioniste.

      Le martyr a mené une bataille héroïque après plusieurs mois de poursuite. Le Front a appelé à des actions de résistance pour le rassemblement dans l’unité et la coordination pour répondre à ce crime et intensifier les opérations contre l’occupation sioniste.

      Le Front a souligné que la Palestine aujourd’hui a perdu un des meilleurs jeunes lutteurs de la Palestine, qui a payé de sa vie ses principes et ses valeurs. Il s’était engagé à rejeter toutes les solutions de capitulation, il avait une vision claire de la libération, et il a travaillé pour relater l’histoire de la Palestine et faire face à toutes les tentatives pour liquider la cause palestinienne.

      Le martyr Basil Al-Araj était un combattant de la liberté, intellectuel et théoricien de l’insurrection de la jeunesse palestinienne. Il se consacrait à un chemin de résistance, à l’intifada, à l’unité, au retour et à la libération de toute la terre de la Palestine. C’était un intellectuel révolutionnaire qui mettait toutes ses énergies culturelles et intellectuelles au service de la résistance ainsi que de ses propres actions sur le terrain, luttant contre la coordination de la sécurité et la collaboration.

      L’assassinat du combattant martyr Basil al-Araj est le fruit affreux de la continuation de la coordination sécuritaire. Basil al-Araj et ses camarades ont été pris en chasse par l’appareil de sécurité de l’Autorité Palestinienne et ont été emprisonnés pendant plusieurs mois, et cette détention a été directement suivie par la traque menée par l’occupation contre lui jusqu’à sa mort.(...)